Extreme Expatriation: The Effect of Location Factors and Masculine Environments on Women’s International Assignment Participation in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

Shortland, Susan (2016) Extreme Expatriation: The Effect of Location Factors and Masculine Environments on Women’s International Assignment Participation in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. In: Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women. Springer, pp. 393-411.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9897-6_23

Abstract

Expatriation in the oil and gas exploration and production sector involves relocation or frequent mobility to geographically remote, climatically harsh, even dangerous locations. Living in camps, compounds or offshore rigs typically involves family separation for lengthy periods, a highly masculine social ethos with few respite opportunities. Women undertaking such assignments can experience limited opportunities for fulfilling social lives. Even city-based expatriation can prove to be an isolating experience. Yet, this research finds that extreme geographical locations do not preclude women’s expatriation as this offers good career prospects, high monetary rewards and Perceived Organisational Support which can potentially outweigh the disadvantages of extreme social, location and environmental issues.

This chapter reports on the effect of location factors on women’s expatriate participation decision-making and female expatriates’ experiences of living and working in highly gendered geographies on single status. It highlights the potential for – and reality of – resulting isolation and loneliness; and the coping strategies female expatriates use to manage masculine social constraints, including their engagement in additional work-related activities to fill their time, improve self-development and generate potential friendships. It finds that solo women who prefer male company can build fulfilling social lives in remote locations while others support female expatriate arrivals and locals by guiding, coaching and mentoring them and in so-doing build relationships. Women assignees acknowledge the value of Perceived Organisational Support. Expatriate policy that supports female assignees in developing social relationships through provision of appropriate space and facilities can help to make extreme expatriation more attractive to women.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: women expatriates; extreme environments; Perceived Organisational Support; expatriate camps; single status; oil and gas industry
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
600 Technology > 650 Management & auxiliary services
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Susan Shortland
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 10:01
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 10:27
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/836

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